One of Donald Trump’s main rivals has attacked him… for not wanting to ban gay people from the military.

You might think attacking Donald Trump would be easy – do you bring up that time he claimed Mexicans were rapists? That time he mocked a disabled reporter? His plans to ban all Muslim-Americans from the US?

Apparently that was all too difficult for Ted Cruz, Trump’s main rival in the Republican primaries – who instead opted to attack the billionaire reality TV star-turned politician for not being homophobic enough.

Cruz, who is an extreme opponent of LGBT rights, lashed out at Trump by releasing a clip of Trump on Meet the Press in 1999 – when he signalled he had no issue with gay people serving in the military.

Asked about gay soldiers in the clip, Mr Trump says: “I mean, hey, I lived in New York City and Manhattan all my life, OK? So, you know, my views are a little bit different than if I lived in Iowa perhaps, but it’s not something that would disturb me.”

Cruz has distributed the attack clip online – and also referenced the interview during the Republican Party debate this week, in another attack on Trump.

He said: “There are many, many wonderful, wonderful working men and women in the state of New York.

“But everyone understands that the values in New York City are socially liberal or pro-abortion or pro- gay-marriage, focus around money and the media.

“Not too many years ago, Donald did a long interview with Tim Russert. And in that interview, he explained his views on a whole host of issues that were very, very different from the views he’s describing now.

“Not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan. I’m just saying.”

Trump has a mixed record on LGBT rights – shifting his opinion on same-sex marriage a number of times before conceding it is a “dead issue” following the Supreme Court ruling.

He has suggested in the past that he would support employment protections for gay people – but at the same time assured conservative lobbyists he wouldn’t block a bill that would allow discrimination against married gay couples.